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Tories must completely reimagine the state

The Times

Onward’s Director, Sebastian Payne, writes in the Times about Onward’s Future of Conservatism project and the Conservative’s approach to managing the state. He writes:

“In the century since, there has been a constant yearning among many Conservatives to return to that simpler age, reversing the encroachment of the state into our daily lives and rolling it back to the absolute minimum. Aided by a healthy scepticism of centralised bureaucracies, the dream remains among some to slash the state and return to an unbridled free market capitalism.

It is a simplistic fallacy to imagine this could ever happen. The demands on the state from its citizens are greater than ever, and growing. In the not so distant past, ID cards were anathema to all centre-right principles. Now, with big tech and multiple government databases already holding so much information about us, it is more likely a case of when, not if, a universal digital form of identification arrives. So we must re-examine the purpose of the state. This lies at the heart of a rumbustious debate on the centre right. A false dichotomy has formed between Tory libertarians, who care only for tax cuts and untold economic fortunes, and big state-ers who want to pump up public services with more spending and centralised control. One lot are decried as heartless zealots, the other as proto-socialists. But examining where conservatism goes next through this lens leads to pointless arguments that miss the core of the problem: our state does not work.”

You can read the full article here.

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